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Iapetus - The Body Cosmic Award winner

Iapetus
The Body Cosmic
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 November 2019, 2:36 AM

Based out of Long Island, New York, IAPETUS is an Atmospheric/Progressive/Melodeath Metal band. “At nine songs, over 70 minutes of music - and featuring Dan Presland (NE OBLIVISCARIS) on drums, “The Body Cosmic” is the most immense, overwhelming, and ambitious thing the two of us have ever created - both within and outside the band; a musical exploration of the life cycles of the Universe, of its human inhabitants, and of the indelible connection between the two. The Body Cosmic is a concept album, like its predecessor - connected from beginning to end - and will be best experienced as one, cohesive whole.”

“The Body Cosmic” leads off the album, at close to ten minutes in length. The furious kick drumming of Dan Presland is immediately recognizable to his fans. It quickly settles into a fast and furious groove, with dominating guitars and whispered female vocals. An atmospheric passage soon follows…slowing down with a despondent sound…before kicking back into high gear again. The chord progressions are unusual…the guys were sure right about this being an ambitious undertaking. It’s an epic track for sure. “Dark Matter Genetics” is a much shorter song, with ambient qualities. It brings some beauty to the album, with doleful clean guitars that offer a sense of hope and despair.

“I Contain Multitudes” is close to fifteen minutes in length. It opens with deep Death Metal vocals and a swift pace. The clean guitar passage take the track to a totally different place…a cool and hidden grove in the middle of a forest glen where solitude is your friend. The harmonized clean vocals are absolutely gorgeous. In the sense of an astronomical composition, this would be the one. The subtlety of the transitions is what makes it so good. “Galaxy Collective” is another short song that builds with guitars into a full on melodic passage that leaves you feeling euphoric…like you came out of the deepest pit of Hell clean on the other side.

“For Creatures Such as We” is another extended song, at close to thirteen minutes in length. The vocals are intense and enraged and the music echoes that sentiment at first. But the clean vocals…he reaches notes I didn’t think were possible. Some of the structure of the album reminds me of NE OBLIVISCARIS and it isn’t just the drumming. Just before the half-way mark, a clean guitar passage comes into play, with an alluring melody. It builds in layers through the end of the track, with a crashing crescendo before a delicate fade-out. “Hadean Heart” features acoustical guitars and a nice little rhythm. These shorter instrumental tracks really help to break up the extended tracks which are just so intense, and offer clean melodies for you to lap up. I got chills when the lead guitar notes came into play…simple majestic.

“Moonwatcher” is a second shorter instrumental. It takes a little bit to get going, imagining the stillness of watching the moon on a cold winter night and being at peace with yourself. “The Star of Collapse” is an eighteen-minute monster. This song has everything but the kitchen sink. The melodies that build under the raging vocals are really pretty. At the half-way mark, it takes a turn, and you can feel something ominous building. The spoken words lash out in anger as they unleash some lead guitar moments that strike on you hard. It culminates in a crescendo before finishing with some clean guitars and an ambient moment for you to reflect on the mysterious cycles of the universe. “Angelus Novus” closes the album. It eases in with keys and a distant rumbling guitar. Spoken female words talk about her soul and gaining the greatest gift of all…life.

Ambitious? This sure is. But, they managed to meet their mark, and meet it well. There is so much complexity to the music that you need to hear it several times to catch all the nuances, and believe me…you’ll want to. Yet, it is so easy to listen to and enjoy, and isn’t that the point of music in the first place? I’ve heard a lot of good music this year, but you don’t want to miss this one. Epic is too simple of a word to describe what they have created here. Quite simply, this momentous album is one of the best independent releases I’ve heard this year.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Body Cosmic
2. Dark Matter Genetics
3. I Contain Multitudes
4. Galaxy Collective
5. For Creatures Such as We
6. Hadean Heart
7. Moonwatcher
8. The Star of Collapse
9. Angelus Novus
Lineup:
Matthew Cerami – Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Jordan Navarro – Guitars, Drum Programming, Keys, Additional Sounds
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 21 November 2019
 

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